An estimated 5.1 million Ultraportable PCs shipped in Q1 2014, experiencing approximately 65 percent growth in total shipments year-over-year, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.
Moreover, ultraportable shipments are forecast to continue expanding globally.
This growth demonstrates that there is still a need for these devices, even within an otherwise dreary PC market. By 2019, Ultraportables will experience a CAGR increase of 26 percent to 109.4 million units.
"Ultraportables continue to be a strong force in the PC market and ABI Research expects shipments to continue growing through 2019," said Stephanie Van Vactor, research analyst at ABI Research.
Beyond Ultraportables, ABI still sees the broader portable PC market continuing its struggle to regain high market growth, but due to the overcrowding of the market may never relive those high growth numbers.
Chromebooks, however, are the main low-cost device growth story.
Initial Chromebook adoption was somewhat slow due to consumer hesitation and questionable need, but they have now managed to present themselves as a disruptive force and ABI expects shipments to grow by 56 percent year-over-year during 2014.
Chromebooks are gaining interest among consumers and savvy business users due to their low-price point, pervasive cloud services and vertical market integration -- especially among businesses and education institutions.
Looking ahead, ABI expects more lower cost products, improved connectivity and greater reliance on cloud services to be driving forces of the ongoing ultraportable PC market development.
As expected, overall Notebook PC shipments slowed after the holiday season but the market is still going strong. The year 2014 will be an important deciding factor for Chromebooks and the trajectory of the Notebook PC market in general.
Furthermore, broadly available cloud computing services and an abundance of online storage options are becoming one of the more essential components for the Mobile Internet industry, and users across the globe are interested in purpose-built low-cost devices that offer these services in the most effective way.
Let's not forget, the ongoing shift to open source software is the key catalyst that continues to fuel new innovation -- both at the desktop, while on the go, and within the data center. The evolution of software-defined computing and networking is the key focal point from now on.